Home staging is an art. The intent is to make a home look desirable, to make potential home buyers fall in love with the place and hopefully put in an offer. But like all forms of art, home staging can be overdone. Like they used to say about makeup, and maybe they still do, “less is more.” If you have the artistic flair to tastefully stage your home, they go for it. If not, you may end up spending time and money with less than stellar results.
Boring Homes Don’t Sell
Your home should look and feel like real people live there. Of course these folks are neat, have things tastefully furnished and don’t have doo-dads and pictures covering every bit of wall and table space. But removing all the personality from a room is just as bad. You don’t want buyers to think they’re entering a hospital zone. Neutral colors and minimal furnishings are fine, as long as you spice things up with a bit of color and personality. A couple of boldly colored throw pillows wouldn’t go amiss.
A little fragrance or air freshener to cover up questionable odors is fine. Assaulting potential buyers with burning incense or strongly scented candles is too much. Some of those candles may even provoke an allergic reaction and have potential buyers heading for the door. Hire a professional cleaning firm to go over your home before listing. If you do want to add a lovely scent, try baking bread or a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Now those are scents you really do want in your home.
To Renovate or Not
Some homeowners go out of their way to make a home presentable for sale. This is commendable, but it’s possible to focus on the wrong renovations. A real estate agent or professional home stager can advise whether you’ll get a better return on your money if you go through with that bathroom or kitchen remodel. You might fare better if you just updated the lighting or the hardware on the cabinets. A lot depends on the state of the real estate market and the type of home you’re selling. People in the market for authentic Victorians may be looking for that vintage charm. Remove the glass doorknobs and claw-foot tub and you may leave those potential buyers wanting.
Though Shalt Not Clutter
It’s normal to want to be surrounded by your favorite things. That’s great unless you’re looking at a serious clutter situation and are trying to sell your home. Your best bet is to pack away all but a few of your treasures before listing. Too much stuff in a home makes the rooms seem smaller. Stacking everything into one or two closets is not necessarily the smartest move, especially if your stacking skills are not up to par. Serious buyers will be looking in cupboards, closets and elsewhere on their tour and you don’t want your treasures cascading out when a closet door is opened.
Furnished or Not
Your home should be shown fully furnished or left bare. A stray bit of furniture in a room makes it look neglected, making the home less appealing. You may have already moved into another property. That’s fine, just take everything with you. Give the property a good clean and leave a blank palette for potential buyers to explore.